The vaccination mandate for companies is published, which establishes the deadline of January 4

The Biden administration published its vaccination mandate for businesses on Thursday, setting a Jan.4 deadline in line with healthcare workers and federal contractor employees.

The administration said it was building on strong legal grounds with the rule, which one official noted is technically not a vaccine mandate, as companies can also choose to run regular testing and use face masks as an option.

The mandate, which applies to companies with at least 100 employees and is expected to cover 84 million people, was developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Senior management officials said OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to enact the mandate is “within OSHA’s authority under law and is consistent with OSHA’s requirements to protect workers from hazards to health and safety, including infectious diseases. ”

Officials also said there is “well-established legal precedent” for OSHA’s authority to develop safety and health standards and that OSHA has “broad authority” to issue and enforce health and safety standards.

When Biden announced the broad vaccine or testing mandate in September, he faced fierce and immediate opposition from Republican governors.

Governor of Texas Greg abbottGreg AbbottTexas Passes Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting State From Limiting Religious Services Foreign Auto Manufacturers Push Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Abbott, O’Rourke In Virtual One-Year Tie From Texas Gubernatorial Election MORE (R), who ordered that no company in Texas can impose a vaccine mandate on employees or customers, and the governor of Florida. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDeSantis Organizes Police Force Formation to Crack Election Crimes Foreign Car Manufacturers Push Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit University of Florida Professor Says Unable to Testify on Coronavirus Measures MORE (R), who sought to ban vaccine mandates in their states, has vowed to fight the vaccine mandate in court.

OSHA plans to have scheduled or planned inspections, where agents go to workplaces to verify that the workplace is in compliance with the rule. For what OSHA calls intentional penalties, a business can be fined $ 136,532.

The standard fine is $ 13,653 for a single violation and the number would increase if there are multiple violations in a workplace.

Please note that the OSHA rule to be published is not a mandate for a vaccine. Employers can put on a mandatory vaccination program, or there is the other vaccination route for those who choose it and tests and masks for those other employees who don’t, ”said an official.

The ETS requires employers to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy unless they adopt a policy that requires employees to be vaccinated or tested once a week and wear a face shield on the job. job.

It also requires employers to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated and paid leave for employees to recover from any side effects of the vaccine that prevent employees from working.

“OSHA estimates that this rule will save thousands of lives and prevent more than 250,000 hospitalizations during the six months after implementation,” the official said.

OSHA will also help employers develop their vaccine or testing requirement by providing sample plans, fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and will begin to reach businesses.

The deadline for healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated is also Jan.4, and the administration has pushed back the deadline for federal contractor employees to be fully vaccinated until that date. . Unlike private companies, there is no trial option for healthcare workers.

The Office of Management and Budget completed its regulatory review of the temporary emergency rule on Monday.

“The bottom line is that the vaccination requirements work. Tomorrow’s actions will lead to millions of Americans getting vaccinated protecting workers, saving lives, strengthening our economy and helping accelerate our path out of this pandemic, ”the official said Wednesday.

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